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NC Immigration Bill Advances To House Floor

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(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill granting driving privileges to North Carolina residents who are living in the country illegally is headed to the state House floor.

The bill that cleared the House Finance Committee Tuesday extends driving privileges and authorizes police to detain those reasonably suspected of living in the country illegally. The bill also includes new E-Verify rules for government contractors and some tougher criminal justice provisions.

Republican bill sponsor Harry Warren of Salisbury argues the bill is about improving public safety. The bill is endorsed by the state association of police chiefs, the state Chamber of Commerce and many immigration advocates.

Opponents say the bill is both too punitive and too lenient. Some fear that driver’s permit costs are too steep for many, while others oppose issuing them at all.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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